It has been reported that Khamzat Chimaev has tested positive for COVID-19. The Swedish media outlet, KimuraCrew were first to release the news on Sunday. Chimaev is set to make his fourth UFC appearance of the year against Leon Edwards in the main event of the UFC’s December 19th card.
KimuraCrew stated that a source close to Chimaev’s team confirmed the news that he’d tested positive recently. He ‘first got a fever‘ before testing positive. The UFC, Khamzat Chimaev or his team are yet to comment on the matter in hand. What we do know is that if Chimaev has tested positive, it puts his main event bout in jeopardy.
Many UFC cards have been affected by COVID-19, with the UFC 255 main event having to change as a result of the virus. After Cody Garbrandt had to withdraw, he’d still been suffering from side-effects since. With any luck, Chimaev will bounce back from the illness and it won’t affect him or the UFC on ESPN+ 41 main event. As recently as this past weekend saw the main event of UFC on ESPN 18 scrapped just 24 hours before the event was set to take place.
UFC on ESPN 18
If worst comes to worst and Khamzat Chimaev has to be pulled from the card there are still options. #5 Stephen Thompson is on the card and could step up to face #3 Edwards in the main event. This would leave Geoff Neal without a fight on the card, but a replacement could easily be found.
If neither Thompson nor Neal wants to step up to face Edwards, they could main event the card themselves. The fight is undoubtedly strong enough to main event a card itself so no one would have any questions with regards to the legitimacy of the bout. Likewise, Jose Aldo and Marlon Vera is a phenomenal fight on the main card which could feature as a co-main event.
If or when we get official confirmation of a positive test for Chimaev the UFC can look for alternatives. Until then, we can just look forward to what is guaranteed to be a phenomenal card, with or without the current main event.
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